Northern Flicker

northern flicker
northern flicker
House Finch and Northern Flicker
northern flicker
Northern Flicker
northern flicker
Northern Flicker
northern flicker
Northern Flicker

The New Year brought snow to Albuquerque and much of New Mexico before moving on to Texas, Oklahoma, and beyond. One good thing about snow is that many birds are attracted to feeders. They often will hang around the feeders long enough for photographs. This Northern Flicker was a great model on the morning of January 2.

Albuquerque Winter

Albuquerque Winter

Albuquerque Winter

“Albuquerque Winter” may make some people laugh. Although we do see flashes of it here in town, they usually are neither long nor severe. The State of New Mexico depends on mountain snowpack for water.

The end of last week and Saturday saw spring-like temperatures, and sunny, brilliant days. Sunday morning’s wind hinted at change to come. Compare Sunday’s sunrise to that of Saturday’s (in the prior post). In addition to the clouds blowing along in the sky, note the cloud bank rolling over the top of the Sandias.

Albuquerque Winter
A Stormy and Windy Sunrise in Albuquerque

As the sun set Sunday night, the winds increased, and rain fell briefly. Within a matter of minutes, the rain turned to snow. Thankfully, the winds died down. I awoke this morning to a beautiful, soft snow.

Albuquerque Winter
Birch Tree with Snow

The snow is already melting, and the streets are clear. However, more snow is due tonight into tomorrow. We do need the moisture, and if it does not last too long, it will just be part of a typical Albuquerque winter.

Sunset, Snow, Mountains

sunset, snow, mountains

Sunset, Snow, Mountains: The Beauty of New Mexico

Sunset, snow, mountains: compare this sunset over the Sandia Mountains less than 36 hours after the very fiery sunrise in the previous post.

sunset, snow, mountains
Sunset over the Snow Capped Sandia Mountains (Looking East)

Late afternoon was cold and very windy. But the image appears calm – at least to me – compared to the fiery sunrise. The weather that morning was relatively calm (on the ground) and warm. I also watched this one as it developed, and had my camera and coat ready. I felt cold only when I was back in the house. This view, like most of those shown here, is from my back yard. 5:30pm. I see an old man with a Pinocchio nose in the cloud. Do you?

I rarely show photographs from the front yard, because the view is of a street of houses, driveways, and parked vehicles. Every now and then, though, I have to try because something special cannot be ignored. This is the same sunset looking east to the Sandias at sunset. This is toward the north end of the Sandias, with the collection of towers. 5:29pm.

sunset, snow, mountains
Sunset over the North End Sandia Mountains, Towers in View

This week is one of wind, along with cold compared to the winter we had had so far. But, I am not complaining, because the weather has brought the kind of sunrises and sunsets I love.

Snow!

snow

Snowfall Overnight in Albuquerque

Snow rarely falls in Albuquerque as often as it is forecast, especially in these drought years. While I certainly do not want as much all at one time as we received in December of 2006 (22 inches in my yard), this morning when I awakened to five inches (12.5 centimeters) of the beautiful white stuff in my yard, I was very happy! I do not yet know the snowfall amounts for the surrounding mountains, but I hope they are significant.

snow
Five inches/ 12.5 centimeters of snowfall overnight. This is the first time I have seen snow accumulate like this in my rain gauge.

Wind must not have been significant as the snow was falling. There must have been some wind later, though, because the accumulation on trees is not much this morning.

The white stuff can enhance the appearance of the ubiquitous block walls and stucco found in Albuquerque.

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Snow on the block wall

Even the gates seem enhanced this morning.

snow
Even the gate looks kind of pretty this morning

One really good thing is that the streets were warm enough that most seem clear, at least in my neighborhood, this morning.
(eta: FB friends are telling me the streets in some parts of town were terrible, at least earlier this morning!)

The snowfall overnight was really nice to wake up to this morning.

Snow on the Sandias

snow sandias
Snow on the Sandias

snow sandias
Snow on the Sandia Mountains, Fog Below, Clouds Above, Lit by the Setting Sun, December 2013

Snow on the Sandia Mountains is predicted in the coming week. Albuquerque itself has the possibility of seeing some snowfall. Precipitation is desperately needed in the Southwest, and hopefully we will indeed see precipitation in some form.

Continuing with yesterday’s theme that sunrises and sunsets here are frequently very beautiful and awe inspiring, but unpredictable in what form they may take, this is from a sunset in December of 2013. This is the only time I can recall seeing the light of a setting sun on the mountains with snow on them not light in some fashion the clouds above, and it is one of the rare times I have seen fog below the mountains.

This image looks east to the mountains. The sunset to the west had the more usual sunset colors of orange, gold, and gray, and was quite beautiful. A memorable sunset in both directions, east and west.

The overall blue effect here, combined with the light of the setting sun on the snow, created an image that I’ll not soon forget.

I hope you enjoy this, more than a year after it appeared.

Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

signs of spring
Signs of Spring – Grape Hyacinths and Snow

Yesterday Albuquerque received some very welcome precipitation in the form of snow. The area is in the midst of a very severe drought, and people are already worrying about the fire season ahead. Even people who ordinarily do not like snow were happy to see any form of precipitation yesterday.

By the end of February, however, almost everyone is ready to see the end of short, cold days. We are looking forward to spring. We delight in any sign that spring is just around the corner.

Yesterday I found these little grape hyacinths, among the first bulbs to bloom in the spring at my house, pushing up through the snow. The juxtaposition of the two was wonderful: the snow for the moisture we need so badly, and the signs of spring, the little grape hyacinths pushing their way through the snow.

Just one sign of spring that I found so welcome yesterday. . .